Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson was left pleased with his side’s performance and it’s ramifications as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 on Saturday.
Strong away performance
The Eagles took the lead after 23 minutes as James Tomkins' close-range rebound beat home keeper Jonas Lossl. The advantage was doubled after 68 minutes when forward Andros Townsend was brought down in the penalty area by Terriers defender Martin Jorgensen, the resulting spot kick cooly finished by Luka Milivojevic.
“The most important thing for us was to come away from Huddersfield with a result, ideally a win but certainly not a defeat, to keep our hopes of staying in the division alive,” Hodgson said speaking after the match.
“Had we not done that today then the gap to teams like Huddersfield gets greater and greater.”
Workrate pleases Hodgson
One side of Palace’s performance that Hodgson was particularly pleased with was the defending, as he heaped praise on those who aren’t naturally defenders.
“Townsend did it on one side and Wilf on the other, and the midfield players worked very hard because that’s a strong area of the Huddersfield team,” the Eagles boss noted.
“We had to make sure that Mooy, Hogg and Pritchard didn’t have any time on the ball because we know they have the ability to use it.”
Zaha return brings spark to Eagles
Making his return to the starting XI, Ivorian winger Wilfried Zaha put on an impressive performance, reiterating his importance to the South London club who are yet to win this season without him.
Hodgson spoke highly of him after the game, saying: “He got stronger as the game went on.
“In the first half there were a lot of other players who were important to us, but the longer the game went on it opened out because Huddersfield needed to get back into the game. That’s where Wilf comes into his own because with his ability on the ball he can go past people.”
Unfortunately, Zaha was substituted with minutes remaining, however, his manager has said he does not know whether he picked up an injury.
“I don’t know if it is a definite injury. He took quite a few kicks towards the end of the game when we were breaking out and getting the ball up the field on quite a few occasions.
“There’s also an element of fatigue as he worked very hard as it was his first full game for seven weeks and he’s been out for a long time. I haven’t been given any indication that he’s picked up any kind of injury.”
This victory moves Palace above West Ham into 16th on 30 points, however, they remain in a fight against relegation, sitting just two points above Southampton, who are in FA Cup action this weekend, in 18th and three points above Stoke City, who lost 2-1 to Everton, in 19th.
Next up after the international break is a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool.